The Ministry of Education has rejected calls by school administrators and parents to establish boarding sections at some of the newly commissioned seed secondary schools across the country.
According to the State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, boarding facilities are a burden to parents since they come with additional costs, which is against government’s policy of extending free education to learners from impoverished families.
“The cost and burden of maintaining the students in a boarding section will be shifted to the parents who are already struggling to raise money for other basic needs, including lunch and scholastic materials for the learners. Therefore, this idea is not tenable,” Mr Muyingo said while commissioning Katikamu Muslim Seed Secondary School in Luweero District.
He said the facilities at the newly commissioned seed secondary schools would accommodate day students and provide students and teachers with a good learning environment.
“You have already witnessed the fully equipped ICT and computer block and the school library. Government is supplying the textbooks,” Mr Muyingo added.
The district education officer, Ms Florence Bbosa, said the government set up guidelines for boarding schools, which must be fulfilled by any learning institution that applies for the section.
“We have not commissioned any dormitories at the new seed schools. This means that anybody that tries to set up a boarding section meant for other purposes is against the set guidelines. We are now rallying parents who are yet to enroll children in schools to take advantage of the facilities,” she said .
Mr Abdul Ssembajwe, a retired educationist, advised parents not put their children in boarding out of pressure from school administrators.
“I have witnessed circumstances where some parents only afford school fees for a term and fail to meet the boarding fees for the rest of the year. They are convinced by school authorities, but they are later abandoned. Only parents that are ready for boarding sections should have children enrolled as borders at schools that have the facilities,” he said.